Pelium or Pelion was named after the mythical God Peleus who was the king of Aegina and father of Achilles. Peleus fell madly in love with Thetis and got married in the area where Pelion now stands, thus named the region Pelium.
The Prehistoric Period
Pelion is part of the prefecture of Thessaly where Neolithic settlements of advanced fortifications, tools and artistic objects have been found during excavations dating back to 5000 B.B.
The town of Iolkos was considered one of the most important towns of the settlement during 2500-1200 BC with its own port along with Alos, a smaller maritime town.
The Historical Period
Even though during the prehistoric period these two towns seemed to be of crucial importance, at the beginning of the historical period and after the besiegement of Philip V of Macedonia they started to decline and the port of Pyrasus became the commercial centre of the region.
The town of Demetriada is founded in the region by King Demetrius Poliorcetes in 293 BC, a town with promising importance that falls under the Roman domination and loses its strength around 194 B.C.
No flourishing of any kind is recorded during that period in the region of Thessaly and the constant invasions of foreigners such as the Goths and the Huns causes the fortifications of most towns in Thessaly by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and the establishment of the Kastro of Golos at the same location where the town of Iolkos used to stand.
Pelion tries to win its independence on the 7th of May in 1821 with its participation in the Greek revolution under the lead of Kyriakos Basdekis, an attempt resulting to a bloodbath. A second strive for independence was attempted with no result in March 1854 and Pelion eventually becomes independent on the 2nd of November in 1881 with the help of the British and other foreign allies. During the Second World War inhabitants immigrate to other regions of Greece but the exceptional beauty of the place attracts tourists from all over the world and begins again to flourish in all areas of development.
In 1204 Thessaly is conquered by the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica until 1222 that goes under the domination of despot Epirus, in 1393 is occupied by the Turks and, in 1655, the Venetian admiral conquers the kastro (castle) of Golos until Pelion is led to independence by the clergyman Anthimos Gazis.